June 14, 2012
From the pages of NCR-01 comes a text from New City Reader – Istanbul Project Coordinator, Benan Kapucu.
Bedazzled by her incredible energy and her multi-layered, multi-cultured allure, the eyes of the world are fixed on Istanbul. In all design meetings, events, exhibitions and discussion platforms happening in Istanbul, we can follow the trail of the same discourse: to activate the city’s creative energies and to be a part of the global design network through a ‘brand new language’. How connected are those myths – in which we are always willing to believe – and actual phenomena? Distancing ourselves from the elitist circles and just levelling with the realities of daily life, is design really an issue on the agenda of Istanbul?
The discourse of the media consists of a rhetorical relationship with daily life. It is possible to get an idea about how deeply a country or a city has internalized the culture of architecture and design, by observing the general state of its publications. Publishing in the area of design and architecture has its problems in Turkey. The political and ecnomical cross-relations of the media bosses who engage in various different commercial practices other than the press, have an extremely decisive influence on publishing policies. Spellbound by popular culture, mainstream media in general, and decoration magazines especially, handle design in terms of its consumption value, merely as a life-style issue and offer very little room for an interrogative, critical and oppositional perspective and expression.
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Posted by Elian Stefa on June 14, 2012
May 28, 2012
From the pages of NCR-01 comes a text from Adhocracy curatorial team member Pelin Tan.
What is the role of a design biennial if design and its attached discourse are overwhelmed in a city such as Istanbul, a contested urban space but also a city under the perverse light of global glamour. How can we use the biennial as a tool for generating critical discussion, and how would that discussion relate to the everyday life and politics of design? Being different from fairs or exhibitions, a biennial’s purpose is to bring a climate of stimulating concepts, to reveal the productive trans-local network of actors, and to create platforms for encounters and debate. However, we also know that such biennial structures often become “institutions” as part of the cultural consumption industry of cities, an element which can fall prey to exploitation by neoliberal governing.
This translates into satisfying the urban elites by using these events as tools that contribute to the urban marketing machine, and feeding the expanding glamorous bubble of Istanbul. There are several ways of exhibition making, thus curatorial practices– a critical awareness that shouldn’t function as a pedagogic or didactic tool but an instigator of potentialities and positioning by initiating rhizomatic self-reflexive networks, and introducing the “non-representable” or the “incomplete representation of form.” These would help.
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Posted by Elian Stefa on May 28, 2012
May 24, 2012
From the pages of the ‘New City Reader 01 – Agenda’ comes an essay by the Adhocracy team members Elian Stefa and Ethel Baraona Pohl.
Looking at the contemporary state of the design discipline, it’s safe to say that we’re observing a boom of new practices which are making the field return to an open, collaborative, system-oriented approach: flying drones which create temporary wifi networks in isolated areas; DIY construction kits; manufacturing at home through personal 3D printers; a Wikihouse with open-source plans that can be replicated, improved and updated anywhere; and countless other examples. These unconventional projects respond to a need of “going beyond” the traditional flow of making things, and are representative of the deep transformations occurring in industry. With an incredible amount of interesting stories coming from forward-thinking collectives to individuals, from hackers to artists and activists, the term design has come to embody only a fragment of what is being produced — our aim with Adhocracy is to bridge that ideological gap and spark the discussion for an updated definition of what design means.
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Posted by Elian Stefa on May 24, 2012
May 21, 2012
From the pages of NCR-01 comes a text by Kazys Varnelis, co-founder of the New City Reader.
That two theorists of architecture launched the New City Reader in the fall of 2010 could have been another flight of Glaukus, the Owl of Minerva, who Hegel said spreads her wings at dusk, referring to how philosophy explains a form of life only when that form has grown old. What could possibly be new about a physical newspaper in this day and age? In contrast, “the Last Newspaper,” the show we were commissioned to make the paper for, seemed more in touch with current conditions, its title promising a postmortem.
Still, it was this very transition from print to digital that we hoped to explore by interrogating the materiality of the dying medium of print. Both newspapers and portable networked media devices such as smart phones and tablets are physical objects. But the latter do not reveal anything about their user except perhaps one’s ability to expend disposable income on technology and one’s allegiance to a technology corporation fandom.
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Posted by Elian Stefa on May 21, 2012
May 16, 2012
The new edition of the New City Reader has hit the streets of Istanbul with its first issue: Agenda. This issue’s editors are the founders of the paper, Joseph Grima and Kazys Varnelis; texts by Joseph Grima, Benan Kapucu, Ethel Baraona Pohl, Elian Stefa, Pelin Tan, and Kazys Varnelis.
The New City Reader is a newspaper on architecture, design, public space and the city. First published as part of The Last Newspaper, an exhibition held at the New Museum for Contemporary Art (New York City) in 2011, a new edition of the public newspaper will be published by the Istanbul Design Biennial team, to be hung on the streets of Istanbul in the months preceding the opening and during the run of the Istanbul Design Biennale. Each issue of the The New City Reader is guest-edited by a contributing network of architects, theorists, and research groups who will bring their particular expertise to bear on the individual sections.
In emulation of a practice common in the nineteenth century and still popular in parts of the world today, the New City Reader is designed to be posted in public for collective reading.
Joseph Grima (Domus) and Kazys Varnelis (Netlab), this newspaper’s content is derived from a series of discussions, debates, interviews and research into the spatial implications of epochal shifts in technology, economy, and society today.
Check the map to the right for locations or enter the article for a list of locations.
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Posted by Elian Stefa on May 16, 2012
March 1, 2012
Ethel Baraona Pohl will be joining the Adhocracy team.
Ethel Baraona Pohl. Architect, writer and blogger developing her professional [net]work linked to several architecture publications. As contributing editor for different blogs and magazines, she has written articles for Domus, Quaderns, and MAS Context among others. She has been invited to present her work in events like Postópolis! DF, and the international architecture festival Eme3. Co-founder of the independent publishing house dpr-barcelona with César Reyes Nájera, their projects, both digital and printed, subvert the boundaries of conventional publications, approaching to those which are probably the titles of architecture in the future.
Posted by Elian Stefa on March 1, 2012